Thursday, July 26, 2007

Luke #19 – Readiness

Luke #19 – Readiness

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger’” (Luke 2:8-12 – King James Version).

They warned me, but I am hard headed…I didn’t listen and almost had my skin scared right off of my bones. It was a horn; a very, very, very, loud horn that blew for what seemed to be forever. When I arrived in Camp Essayons in the town of Uijongbou, South Korea my fellow comrades warned that our battalion commander was fond of having readiness alerts. We were stationed in a dangerous place and the times in which we lived were filled with tensions. To top it off, part of the commander’s “welcome to the battalion” speech was to say “You are now part of the number one target of the entire North Korean military.” With all of these warnings I should have expected that stinking horn. I didn’t. I literally felt like I was about to have a heart attack. The first time that horn blew made a complete believer out of me; I believed it was always going to blow and was never surprised by it again. (It still freaked me out because it was so dramatic and loud, but it never caught me off guard again.)

Hey little shepherd man…WAKE UP! The angel that announced the Messiah birth was akin to the first sounding of that horn I heard over in South Korea. I know I have said it before but Micah 5:2 was the warning / prophecy that the Messiah would be born in the little town of Bethlehem. Those Jewish boys had been warned but seemed to be caught off guard. It may have been that an angel was a fearful sight and I would imagine that was the greatest part of the surprise. I also believe they were surprised by the message of the announcement, but they shouldn’t have been. Prophecy was clear; the world wasn’t ready.

Are we ready for what will happen next? According to Luke the Messiah is coming back (Acts 1:11). Are we ready for that? That is definitely an event that we don’t want to be caught sleeping when it occurs. When Jesus returns there will be no opportunity to get right with God or to make amends or seek the forgiveness of sins. When Christ splits that eastern sky we will either be in right standing with God or we won’t.

Each of us has received many warnings in Scripture about Christ next coming. We have to ask ourselves if we are ready for it. It’s coming; no doubt about it. Are you ready? Personally, when I read the verses above I get the testimony of Dr. Luke and those shepherds (somebody had to tell it to Luke) and I know that Christ did come just as Old Testament prophecy said He would. That makes me confident that He will return just like the Scripture says too. Today…right now…are you ready? Don’t be caught off guard. What is at risk is more than a temporary scare.

The angel gave those shepherds a good announcement. Christ return is a good announcement too. I simply want each of us to be ready for it.

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